Shoe Stores

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 4,800 shoe stores in the US sell most types of new footwear and related items. Major product categories include women’s footwear, men’s athletic footwear, women’s athletic footwear, and children’s athletic footwear. Shoe stores may also sell clothing and accessories, such as socks, belts, hosiery, and jewelry. The shoe store industry includes national chains, regional chains, franchises, and independent operators.

Managing Highly Seasonal Demand

The shoe business is highly seasonal and driven by the fashion calendar, which generally revolves around fall and spring collections.

Dependence On Foreign Sources

Imports account for over 98% of footwear sold in the US according to the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA).

Industry size & Structure

The average shoe store employs about 29-30 workers and generates $5-6 million annually.

    • The shoe store industry consists of 4,800 companies that employ about 143,000 workers and generate $28.6 billion annually.
    • The industry is concentrated; the top 50 companies account for 82% of industry revenue.
    • The shoe store industry includes national chains, regional chains, franchises, and independent operators.
    • Independent shoe retailers average two to four stores, employ seven workers per store, and carry an inventory worth $250,000 or more, according to National Shoe Retailers Association (NSRA) survey. The average per-pair price is $135.
    • Large companies include Footlocker, Genesco (Journeys, Johnston & Murphy), Caleres (formerly Brown Shoe and parent of Famous Footwear) and DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse). Large firms may have stores outside of the US or operate the shoe department within another retailer.
                                Industry Forecast
                                Shoe Stores Industry Growth
                                Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                Recent Developments

                                Dec 7, 2022 - In-Store Black Friday Sales Down
                                • The Wall Street Journal recently reported that according to market research firm NPD Group, Black Friday retail sales at brick-and-mortar stores were down this year compared to pre-pandemic levels and were also down from last year. Retail sales for the week ended Nov 26 were off by 5% from last year and dropped 9% compared to 2019, according to NPD. Foot traffic in all types of brick-and-mortar retail stores declined by more than 10% from 2019 levels, according to mobile tracking data analytics firm Weak in-person sales contrasted with Cyber Monday, which saw sales rise 5.8% year over year, according to Adobe Analytics. Industry watchers suggest the weak performance of Black Friday was partly due to retailers pulling some promotions forward to October and earlier in November and a lack of big Black Friday promotions compared to past years.
                                • At the recent Footwear Show New York Expo New York trade show, companies were generally upbeat despite some mounting challenges for the industry, according to Footwear News. Industry insiders said footwear would likely remain resilient even amid inflation, recession concerns, and a potential pull-back in consumer spending. Some brand representatives at the show suggested the industry has largely overcome the supply chain issues from earlier in the pandemic that made it hard to keep shelves full. However, some brands are concerned about excess customer inventories and how that could affect retailer orders for fall 2023.
                                • Despite high inflation and rising interest rates, the National Retail Federation (NRF) expects consumer spending to remain resilient this holiday season. While the NRF acknowledges consumers are feeling the pinch of higher interest rates and inflation, it believes economic fundamentals – including job growth, rising wages, and savings accumulated during the pandemic - will sustain consumer spending. The NRF also points to US gross domestic product growth of 2.6% in the third quarter as evidence that the US economy hasn’t slipped into recession. The NRF forecasts holiday spending will rise between 6% and 8% over 2021 levels to reach between $942.6 billion and $960.4 billion. The outlook for 2022 is down from the 13.5% rise seen in 2021 but is better than the average 4.9% growth seen over the last decade.
                                • Running experienced a surge in popularity during the pandemic and many footwear industry insiders believe participation will continue to grow, according to Footwear News. While many expect a looming recession would likely affect running shoe sales, the impact could be minimal. Industry insiders suggest the stress-management effects of running combined with the relatively low expense of new running shoes have made running recession-resistant during past economic downturns. Some running shoe retailers are still struggling with an overstock of inventory built up in the second half of 2021, and they are offering discounts to clear stocks and make room for newer, more innovative products.
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